Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Torture is not a part of our soul and our being

Bush: “The values of this country are such that torture is not a part of our soul and our being.” To quote the Daily Show again, “Just because torturing prisoners is something we did, doesn’t mean it’s something we would do.”

London Times headline for the story of the little problems in Jack Ryan’s Senate race: “‘Star Trek’ Sex Row Warps Race to Rule Senate.” From Ryan’s website: “As an elected leader, my interest will be in promoting laws and educating people about the fundamental importance of the traditional family unit as the nucleus of our society.” Really, no divorced politician should make such smug comments, much less someone who tried to get 7 of 9 to have sex with him in public. Unless that’s what he means about educating people about the importance of marriage: “wait, you mean when you’re married, there’s sex involved?”

Did the R’s really just keep the entire Senate waiting around for a day just to prevent John Kerry casting a vote for veterans’ benefits?

Yowie Allawi sort of backs away from his comments on imposing martial law: “No, I didn’t specifically say martial law meaning martial law.” It all depends on what the meaning of... no, we won’t go there. Evidently the US has told Zowie that total sovereignty doesn’t include the right to declare martial law. But we can. Also, Allawi may not have noticed, but “martial” anything (from the Latin for Mars, god of war) requires an army, which he doesn’t have. On the hopelessly inadequate police and military, read this.

Blogger Bob Harris notes that the DOJ memo saying it ain’t torture unless it causes “severe pain akin to organ failure” (doesn’t say if the penis is an organ, ‘cuz penis failure can be painfully embarrassing, or so I’ve heard) was written by Jay Bybee, since appointed by Bush to the 9th Circuit, another reason not to give Bush the keys to the courts.

I don’t have the stomach to deal with yesterday’s release of every document that doesn’t make Bush look too bad on treatment of POWs, while continuing to withhold most of the ones the D’s on the Judiciary Committee wanted to look at. I’m not too impressed by Bush’s order to try to be treat prisoners inhumanely unless it was, like, inconvenient (“to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity”). Actually, the precise justification for torture during interrogation was “military necessity,” so really this is meaningless. Rumsfeld, who likes to stand (he has a standing desk), complained that prisoners weren’t forced to remain standing for longer than 4 hours, showing a complete lack of understanding of the nature of the “stress positions” torture, which is keeping someone in a single position for hours; not like standing at a desk and being able to change which muscles are stressed at will. He also, I think it’s Wonkette who says, introduces the Rummy standard for torture, and we know he’s tough, by god he’d volunteer to be at the bottom of a naked human pyramid, and forced masturbation, he eats forced masturbation for breakfast.

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